What to do with a leg of lamb

Chef Sam Parish shows us what we can do with a leg of lamb

Hi, I'm Sam and today I'm going to show you what you can do with a leg of lamb. Here I'm using New Zealand grass-fed lamb hand-picked from Maimoa. This is a super versatile cut of meat and there are so many ways you can use it. You can roast it, you can slow roast it, you can debone it, marinate it, you can butter fly it, grill it, or once it's butterflied, you can stuff it, roll it, finish it in the oven for a beautiful boneless roast.

There are a few different ways you can do this, but I'm going to show you how I like to do it. There’s a bone that runs from the knuckle all the way down to the shank. So, we'll start with a knife starting at the knuckle, working our way down to where we reach the knee and as you cut down, you'll feel the bone underneath just using the tip of your knife.


Bring it back down the shank just to start us off. At this point you could remove the shank and then cook that separately but today we're going to keep ours on so we're going to carry on moving our knife down the bone to expose the joint. Once the bone is removed keep that for stock, soups and sauces. There's no waste with this dish - we're going to keep everything. Now we clean up our leg of lamb, by removing any fat and sinew, and just giving it a general tidy up.

Now that it's all cleaned up, we're just going to butterfly the lamb so that it has a consistent thickness throughout, so that it lies flat. Then we can either grill it or we can roll it up and roast it. What we want to do is get it all the same thickness. Start by making a quick incision just to open it up, and as you go, you can remove a bit more fat.

So now that that's butterflied, we can stuff it and roll it and turn it into a beautiful roast. In terms of stuffing, you can do anything you like really. There's couscous, you could do breadcrumbs, filling it with lots of butter and pecans and nuts and herbs. There are endless options. The beauty of it is once it's roasted, there's no bones. When we're cutting through, you'll see that beautiful stuffing and it'll flavour the meat perfectly. Next season with some salt and pepper, beautiful marinade of parsley, capers, anchovy and preserved lemon.

Try and get the marinade into all the nooks and crannies to impart that flavour into the meat. So now we're going to roll it up, keeping the skin on the outside, with all that beautiful filling inside.

Start tying at the end. Bring the string up, put your hand underneath and bring it over and then spin twice just to secure the hole. Bring it over and under and pull it back to tighten. The tighter the string the more even the cook will be.

Okay, so now we're just going to bring the string underneath, bringing in all the end parts of the lamb, and we'll tie it back to our beginning piece nice and tight. Right, that's all done. Our marinated lamb leg is now stuffed and rolled and ready for the oven.

For this lamb leg, we're going to roast it on the bone. You can cook this low and slow for six to eight hours so it's falling off the bone, or you can cook it for one to two hours at a moderate heat and then slice it at medium rare. If you cook this low and slow, you can pull the meat and then turn it into anything you like. We're talking tacos, you could do a burrito, some burgers, some sliders.

You could pull it and turn it into a beautiful ragu sauce and pair it with some beautiful pasta.

There are endless options when you've cooked it low and slow because the meat is juicy and ready to take on any flavour you throw at it. But today we're going to slather this in harissa, cook it in a moderate oven for one to two hours until it's medium rare. This is perfect for serving four people or serving them on big, long tables for functions and carving it up for people to serve themselves. The great thing about cooking on the bone is it keeps the meat moist and imparts that beautiful flavour from the bone throughout the meat. So, we're going to poke some holes in this just to get some heat into the bone and add that extra bit of flavour. I'm just gonna add a little bit of salt for seasoning and then we're going to add the harissa, which is a Middle Eastern paste. It's full of flavour and it goes perfectly with lamb and adds a beautiful colour as it roasts. We're going to try and get the paste into the holes that we've created so it flavours the meat. Covering the bottom as well in the paste so it's evenly coated all over. Right, so our harissa paste has beautifully covered our lamb and now it's ready for the oven.

If you want to add some extra flavour to your lamb, you could smoke the meat before, during or even after it's been cooked. With so many ways to prepare, flavour and cook this versatile cut of meat, you can see why it's such a firm favourite with restaurants all over the world.

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